Saturday, November 03, 2007

Demons of Separatism

“Does the "left" in Turkey support, self determination for the Kurds? The PKK supporters seem to not differentiate Turkish workers from bosses. Why expect different of Maoists and nationalists."

Hello Ren,

In the wake of PKK’s renunciation of its former objectives for political separation, self-determination, in other words, “political separation of these nations from alien national bodies, and the formation of an independent national state”, is now an orphan desire in Turkey. However, its ghost is still haunting the psyche of the warmongers, who are vigilant enough (!) to perceive that political and cultural demands are simply an obfuscation of the intention of separation. Thus, the question of “self-determination” is being introduced generally by dull nationalists for the purpose of escaping from the responsibility to intervene in the causes of the miseries of Kurdish minority. The separation-phobia engendered by Kemalism is a scarecrow in Turkey to ward of the dreadful realities about the Kurdish question. Nowadays, no one is raising publicly the idea of self-determination, separatism, except the adherents of the long-standing state tradition for rationalizing the status-quo. Hence, in the current political encyclopedia of Turkey, the entry of “the self-determination of nations” is not being defined as political separation, but a menace which makes even the bourgeois-democratic revisions impossible.

However, if we recall Lenin’s pamphlet, we should identify a particular contradiction of the Kurdish nationalism. The longing for the formation of national states has habitually been initiated by indigenous bourgeois class to capture the home market. But on the occasion of the natural deficiencies of the region, the Kurdish bourgeois class has integrated with Turkish economy so exceedingly that they defend the political unity or their fidelity to the Turkish identity more viciously than their Turkish colleagues. For instance, Aziz Yildirim, the Kurdish chairman of Turkey’s one of the prominent soccer clubs, recently uttered the famous slogan on the television: “Martyrs do not die; the country can not be divided”. There is an article in yesterday’s Economist exposing the approach of Kurdish bourgeois class on Kurdish nationalism:

"Despite Mr Barzani's popularity, the Turks can take heart from the millions of Kurds who have no desire to break away. That was the message of the July 22nd election, says Sehmus Akbas, a Kurdish businessman in Diyarbakir. He is thinking of the big gains made by the Justice and Development (AK) party in Kurdish areas, at the expense of the pro-Kurdish Democratic People's Party (DTP). Such is the appeal of AK's mix of liberalism and Islamic piety that it might even wrest Diyarbakir, the Kurds' unofficial capital, from the DTP in local elections next March"…

In sum, self determination for the Kurds is the subject non grata in Turkey even the Marxists (including me) are shy away from. The most well-intentioned expressions are restricted with the presentation of the Kurdish question as a by-product of capitalism and unassuring appeal to overthrow the capitalist states for absolute resolution. Personally, I prefer to stay aphetic concerning a separate national state option, which is a part of renunciation to identify myself with the national identity which is stamped with diversity of political manipulations and deceptions. So, this is not an off-limits area for me hedged with the nightmares of the others. To reiterate, one of the old interpretations of demons in dreams that, people who have a tendency to abuse others have overwhelming fears that outbreak as demons just to ease the burden of guilty conscience. The Kemalist nightmare about separatist demons must be diagnosed in the context that a demon occasionally represents the payoff to sustain one’s own deeds.

"I like how you used quotation marks around the word "left."
At a meeting of the local antiwar group, I reported from your posts, about the situation with Kurdistan.
Considering the Stalinist history of the PKK, if they say they are for or against seperatism, you never know. Not the most honest brokers to say the least."

I did not use them in this post, but I usually use quotation marks along with the term “left” to signify when it includes also the groups that classify themselves as leftists but do not support the distinctive characteristics such as involving in class struggle. Like everywhere, there are so many of them in Turkey that quotation marks are practical tools to point out the ambiguity of the term.

The skeptical expression of “you never know” called to my mind Daniel Negreanu’s article where he dealt with the myth of poker tells. He depicts one of his experiences at a table full of “aspiring pros” paranoiacally struggling to decipher the body language of other players but neglecting the fundamentals of the game: “They were so obsessed with trying to figure out what people's tells were that they completely neglected what was actually going on in the hands - who bet, who raised, and so on.”

It might be noticed that I have been wittingly sidestepping the critique of PKK. It is not by the reason of that I have sympathy for their pragmatic strategies, their desertion of the Marxist roots, adoptions of a Stalinist mind, reactionary collaboration with feudal remnants, etc. In truth, it is not my dilemma. The critique of PKK is the responsibility of Kurds. I have no idea about their “real” intentions and neither have the enthusiasm to crack the code of their political body language. I am more concerned with the truth that PKK is the objectification of the Kurdish question which has been ramified by years of assimilation, oppression, and overlooking policies. We should not judge form of the objectification of the question at first, when the question is still on the table.

Rather than wrestling with the consequences, I want the political demands of the Kurdish citizens of Turkey, like a new Constitution acknowledging the existence of Kurdish people, a general amnesty, an economic plan to improve the daily life in the region, etc. to be accepted immediately. We might have the luxury to be involved in the question of PKK then.

I don't let anyone call me "leftist," if it includes Stalinists, nationalists etc.

Dear Marvin,
I’m really very sorry about the misunderstanding which is due to my careless statements. I didn’t ever attempt to criticize you; Actually, I was criticizing my previous standpoint about the Kurdish question which can be traced back in my older posts. While I was contemplating on this issue recently, I have realized that by introducing the long-term possibilities like workers state and self-determination, we are overlooking the immediate demands of Kurdish people to be treated as equal citizens. I believe that the solidarity of working classes of all nations is the ultimate solution but this should not constrain us from landing an ear to the immediate demands. Please inform me about your further anxieties regarding my assertions.
Sorry again,

I didn't notice anything in personal.
The democratic demands, are not in contradiction to Marxism. Ultimately in the era of imperialism, they can only be won with socialism.


Dear Marvin,

I am tirelessly trying to indicate that democracy of capitalism is an illusion and true democracy is only possible with socialism (For instance, my post titled with Dylan’s song). But I realized that sometimes my appetite for true democracy makes me to overlook the possible gains even in the illusionary one. This is for the first and the last time that I have ever proposed liberal-democratic reconciliations to be activated urgently regarding a particular question, and for me this was not the absolute idea or a dead end of the debate. It was just a plea to draw the question to a more tangible ground. Anyway, I decided to cease this short adventure of mine with liberalism hereafter.

1 comment:

Renegade Eye said...

I like how you used quotation marks around the word "left."

At a meeting of the local antiwar group, I reported from your posts, about the situation with Kurdistan.

Considering the Stalinist history of the PKK, if they say they are for or against seperatism, you never know. Not the most honest brokers to say the least.